Will a 500k word count impede my chances of a film deal?

Les Miserables has over 500,000 words. I haven't read it, because Hello, it has over 500,000 words. But it was made into a movie and a musical, so the word count didn't hurt this Hugo guy.

How would Hannah Rogers answer the commonly heard complaint that very successful old novels could never be published today because in this electronic world, the expectations of agents and editors are either so high, or so commercial, or so literary, or so success-oriented that a novel such as Moby Dick would be rejected as insufficiently introspective?

I, for one, wouldn't reject Moby Dick because it's insufficiently introspective. I'd  reject it because I heard it's about killing whales.

Is it a mistake to use a neologism in a query? I've got what I think is a great query ready to go that includes the word "werepire." Would that be confusing or do you get it right away?

A neowhat? Are you sure you didn't make that word up? Don't try to put one over on me, or I'll put you on my list of agenttricksters. Werepire I don't get, although backwards it spells eriperew, which is the sound this annoying bird makes outside my window every morning at six o'clock. Wait, is it a pirate that turns into an animal when the moon is full? That's my guess, a pirate that turns into a parrot!

For how long do you weep after writing at length to inform passionate would-be authors that their submissions have been unsuccessful?

I only put the queries in my Yes pile or my No pile or my You Decide pile. Then my secretary, Gollum, gathers the piles and writes to the authors. As for your next question, he's weeping pretty much every time I see him.

How many agents work at your agency?

Three: Me, myself, and I! I was hoping someone would ask that so I could say that. But since nobody did, I asked it myself. Of course there's also my unpaid intern Chelsea, but I only hired her so I'd have someone to go to lunch with when I don't have any client lunches on the calendar and also so I'd have someone to gossip with about other agents. There are a lot of other agents; some days me and Chelsea don't get any work done!

Your submission guidelines say to just send the first sentence. My question is, should I focus more on crafting a powerful opening word, or a powerful end to the sentence? I mean, have you ever read the first word of a novel and known right then and there it was a loser?

The first word should be the main character's name if it's an interesting name like Manuel Peach. If it's a boring name, start with her occupation, as in: Undercover caterer Jane Smith . . . The last word should be the word "murder," even if there's no murder in the book. For instance: Manuel Peach had always wondered what it would be like to imagine committing a murder. Or: Undercover caterer Jane Smith knew two things: she was in love with ace homicide detective Zack Martinez, and her corn strudel had not been used to commit murder.

If my husband offers to slip you his pizza-coated "manuscript," you had better say no if you know what's good for you. PS, How do you get your bangs to do that, Hon? That's so cute.

That's Mitch. No one touches my hair but Mitch, Hon.

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